The Monegasque ALEXANDRA Association aims at stimulating research and development (R&D) in the area of alternative methods to animal experimentation by providing political, technical and educational support to researchers and entrepreneurs worldwide. In particular alternative methods based on ‘Open Source’ concepts i.e. non-patent protected core technologies for human tissue reconstruction and cell culture technologies will be actively promoted. In collaboration with other international Centers of Excellence, the Scientific Advisory Board will select Open source project proposals based on their applicability in medical and environmental research. In addition, the ALEXANDRA Association shall provide a platform for discussion and exchange of information on the selected ‘Open Source’ R&D projects between scientific opinion leaders, industry, regulatory bodies and the public, by organizing international conferences in Monaco on a regular basis.
1. Political, technical and educational support of research and development projects on alternative methods based on ‘Open Source’ Tissue Engineering: – reconstructed models of human skin, eye, mucosa…
The ALEXANDRA Association and its partners believe that ‘Open Source (OS)’ based tissue models, of which the intellectual property and the tissue production protocol are to be available to anyone, independent of its applications, uses and end-users (the true definition of ‘Open Source’), can guarantee a continued implementation of 3D tissue models in regulatory testing as well as academic and private research with no economic and/or geographical constraints. Currently an OS-human skin and OS-human eye tissue model have been developed and characterized. In addition, both OS tissue models are showing very promising results in recent (partially on-going) prevalidation studies. A white paper is currently in preparation by the ALEXANDRA Scientific Advisory Board and will be submitted for peer reviewed publication in the next months.
2. Education and information exchange
The ALEXANDRA Association will start educational programs worldwide early 2013 to teach any interested party how to produce and use the Open Source 3D tissue models so that they can become a new standard for animal-free testing through openness, transparency and collaboration. These training programs will be organized in collaboration with CAAT, ESTIV and IVTIP. Other educational initiatives will include • Education of younger generations, in Monaco and worldwide. (Ex.: World Animal Day) • Informing the public: yearly conference on ALEXANDRA projects
3. Preparation of an Education and Research Centre in Monaco by early 2013
The ALEXANDRA Association will create a of a “non-for-profit” Education and Research centre focusing on the development of alternative methods based on Open Source tissue engineering techniques. The Center will also operate as a Center of Excellence for technology transfer of Open Source tissue models including both the production of OS models as well as their usage (development of testing applications).